We recently took a family road trip to the Grand Tetons. There's a few things that I feel make our trips a little easier, so I thought I'd share them in case you have a road trip planned for the summer.
Hand sanitizer is actually something we always have in the car, but especially for road trips, when we are climbing in and out of the car at lots of stops, it's nice to be able to give the kids a squirt when we get in. I love having this when we are leaving the park or a fast food playground too. I usually forget to wash their hands by the time we get home, so at least I know we did something to try to battle germs. We just keep a bottle in the cup holder, that way we see it and remember to use it every time we get in.
I picked up a couple of these clear page pockets in the Target $spot last year and I love them for road trips to keep all of the paper stuff we need from getting lost or crumpled.
I love having everything in one easy place. I filled ours with a road map and directions to our hotel, a map of the National Park, info on hikes we wanted to try, coupons for fast food places we were likely to stop at, and a Starbucks gift card. I feel like sometimes people don't think about using coupons on a vacation, but we brought some to several different fast food places and saved about $15-$20 on food, smoothies and coffee during our trip, coupons add up! We really don't pay to get into anything without a quick search for an online coupon. Especially for things like museums, amusement parks, and large chain restaurants. I've often found good codes on Retail Me Not, but I usually just do a google search to find all my coupon options.*
I also made one for the kids. We really only need a few coloring sheets, and other activities on a trip because we are usually busy doing what we came to do/see. This little pocket lets me pick out a few activities for each kiddo and keep them all together and not crumpled in the bottom of the car or some bag. I let them use dry erase crayons on the pocket once we get there, but not it the car--lost crayons melt!
Spending a whole day in the car with preschoolers takes some planning if you want to still like each other when you get there. We pack stuff for them like books on CD, our Tag pen and books, mini travel coloring sets with mini markers, stickers, and lots of snacks. This time I brought several bagged snacks. Stuff gets shifted around a lot in the car and I didn't want whole bags of opened chips spilling, so before we left I put a long strip of washi tape on each snack bag.
Once the bag was opened we could easily seal it back up with the tape and keep everything neat and clean. I also brought a little stack of little Dixie cups so that when the kids wanted a snack I could just pour some in a cup and they could snack out of it. Snacks by the handful don't work in the car with kids, but little things they can snack on take up more time, so I'm happy to let them crunch on pretzels or whatever for a while. Eating IS an activity, you guys. The washi tape worked so well! I will definitely do this from now on, even at home when we run out of clips.
I hope if you have a road trip planned that it is an awesome adventure and a happy ride!
Because it's important to enjoy the journey and the destination!
**Bonus for reading all the way to the end--if you are booking flights or hotels on Expedia I've have two coupon codes work in the past month: try RTMENOT25 to save $25. If you are booking using their mobile app you should be able to use MOBILE25 for $25 off. Twenty-five free dollars, yay! **